Summer is just starting and everyone deserves a vacation at this point. In order to be on top of your game at work, it might be a good idea to create an “out of office” response. Let’s have a look at how to do it properly!

What to do?

The most important thing is to know your audience. You need to consider this, because that way you can figure out whether you want to sound fun and open or professional. This is up to you, however, do check your company’s policy for this part.
Ideally, you would start your response with a “thank you” in your preferred form. This shows a polite appreciation for the other person’s time.
The next thing is to mention the exact dates when you are away. This way, the respondents are able to reach you again once you are back.
It is also important to mention the reason for your absence. Some people might try to contact you anyway (if you don’t explain yourself), however, if you mention that you are taking a personal vacation, the chances are very low.
If it’s possible, mention another contact person who can take over in case of you absence. Do this only in case the person knows about this and is willing to substitute you at your work.

What not to do? 

Don’t overshare! You never know who is trying to reach you and who will receive your automatic response. There is no need to give a lot of details. People don’t need to know in which hotel are you, simply say that you are on a vacation.
It might not be a good idea to say that you will reply ASAP when you come back. This is a very common mistake, because then people are waiting for your response the first day that you come back. When you come back from your vacation, you will most likely have a lot of work to catch up on, so do not promise anything if you can’t fulfill it.
Lastly, no typos please. You don’ want to do the for obvious reasons (it does not look professional).

Ant tip: How to do an “out of office” response in Outlook? Find out in our short video here:

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